Made Righteous by Faith-Romans 4:18-25

Romans 4:18-25 “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead — since he was about a hundred years old — and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness — for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
Romani 4:18-25 « Egli, sperando contro speranza, credette, per diventare padre di molte nazioni, secondo quello che gli era stato detto: «Così sarà la tua discendenza»19 Senza venir meno nella fede, egli vide che il suo corpo era svigorito (aveva quasi cent’anni) e che Sara non era più in grado di essere madre; 20 però, davanti alla promessa di Dio non vacillò per incredulità, ma fu fortificato nella fede e diede gloria a Dio,21 pienamente convinto che quanto egli ha promesso, è anche in grado di compierlo. 22 Perciò gli fu messo in conto come giustizia. 23 Or non per lui soltanto sta scritto che questo gli fu messo in conto come giustizia, 24 ma anche per noi, ai quali sarà pure messo in conto; per noi che crediamo in colui che ha risuscitato dai morti Gesù, nostro Signore, 25 il quale è stato dato a causa delle nostre offese ed è stato risuscitato per la nostra giustificazione.”
     In this portion of Romans, Paul continues his message of justification by faith using the patriarch Abraham as an illustration of righteousness. What is important about his approach is the common teaching of the Jews who believe that justification has its base in an inheritance (“Our father Abraham”- John 8:53)“So shall your offspring be” in verse 18. Since Abraham was their father, they believed that his offspring would inherit the same blessings. But Paul completely negates this approach by saying Abraham’s basis of righteousness was not because he was chosen to be the father of many nations but because of his faith in God. The basis of righteousness comes through faith…not because of inheritance. 
     In order to prove his point, he used Abraham’s journey of faith. Although Abraham’s actions didn’t always reflect his faith in God yet when it came to the promise of a son, he did not waver. Paul says, “against all hope, he hoped”, “was strengthened in his faith”“gave glory to God” and “being fully persuaded” of the promise. He used the reference from Genesis 15:5-6 “He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars — if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”
     Paul makes it clear that righteousness can’t be determined by inheritance but by faith and repeats the phrase, “It was credited to him as righteousness.” It is the knowledge of the impossibility of human abilities to achieve righteousness that gives rise to the hope that by faith in God, He will credit righteousness to us.
Pray with me: Lord, I am strengthened today as I understand once again that Your plan of righteousness by faith disavows the possibility of any human form of righteousness. It is because of my faith in You that I can be declared righteous.

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